directed by Virlana Tkacz
“Raven” is a performance piece created by Virlana Tkacz with Yara Arts Group and Ukrainian artists, inspired by Oleh Lysheha’s poem of the same title. Acknowledged by many to be the best contemporary poet in Ukraine, Oleh Lysheha is a “poet’s poet.” The 1999 book, “The Selected Poems of Oleh Lysheha” (Harvard University Press) was awarded the PEN Translation Prize. “Raven” speaks to our desire to explore unknowable boundaries. Sharply delineated details from everyday life transform to reveal the true nature of reality. Birds, trees and fruit bear messages for the careful observer. The forest protects the secrets of the invisible path. Yara’s production uses music, movement, song and voice to explore the images of the poem, which is spoken both in the original and in its English translation by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps. “Raven” features Andrew Colteaux, who previously appeared in Yara’s “Swan” (1993), a work based on Lysheha’s poetry; Sean Eden, who appeared in the first Yara pieces, Kat Yew, who appeared in Yara’s last two winter projects, are joined by Maren Bush. Music is by electronic composer Alla Zagaykevych who combines traditional classical music with contemporary multidisciplinary projects such as installations and performances and has been a leading proponent of electronic music in Ukraine since the 1990s. American singers Aurelia Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack (who sing together as the duo Ash/Æ) will be heard in Appalachian and East European songs they have specially recorded for this production. Movement is by Yara’s Shigeko Suga, who is also a member of La MaMa’s Great Jones Repertory. Projections are by Volodymyr Klyuzko/k.kava from Kyiv and Yara’s Mikhail Shraga. Costumes are by Keiko Obremski; lighting is by David Bonilla.
4/8/2011 at 7:30pm